Thursday, September 11, 2014

{God Spotting} Blogging Through the Bible


This year, I’ve made the commitment to myself and a small group of women to read through the Bible chapter by chapter.  Not in a year.  Maybe over 3 years, actually.  Courtney Joseph over at Good Morning Girls/ Women Living Well is at the helm of this wonderful idea. 

I can promise you that I will not be Blogging Through the Bible every week.  I think I’ve come to accept that I will do as much as I can with God’s strength and grace.  Monthly might be more reasonable during the busy parts of life.

This past week, however, has been a wonderful experience seeing God’s hand cover over a difficult situation in the homeschool seminars I tutor/ direct through Classical Conversations.  Challenge 2 is a sophomore – senior set of seminars, one of which involves learning about art history and western culture.  In only two weeks of discussions + team policy debate preparation, I’ve already gained so much from my six students’ discussions and insights.  However, at a national level, the debate topic has prompted some cautiousness from the leadership. Our debate topic has unfortunately led some students to unintentionally open sites that are more p*rnographic in nature than artistic (as we are learning in our reading there has been a definite blur in the definition of the two). 

This has led to a discussion – what do we do as seminar leaders?  What is our response?

One suggestion was to abandon the debate topic and pick something new to work on.  Honestly, I wrestled with this suggestion – it sure would eliminate the temptation to view inappropriate images and would lessen the opportunity students might have to innocently view something.  However, the students had already put in two weeks worth of work and seemed to look forward to this topic!  More importantly, however, was engaging my students into discussions about the state of our culture. I am glad to be talking about cultural history with this group of almost-but-not-quite-yet-launched Christian young people.  We need to talk about our culture and our loving, Christ-like response (whatever that is).  How can we do that if we don’t learn about the culture?

So I prayed and consulted with others.  My pastor spoke two pieces of scripture that made my mind race and I wanted to shout for joy when I heard them – that’s how perfectly God had spoken to me:

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Heb. 10:24-5- And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Add to this my recent reading into Esther and a conversation I had with a pastor/ CC father and I was convinced that we needed to continue on and not abandon this debate topic.  Instead, with the support of the parents of my students, we need to continue on, hold one another accountable for our internet use and be prepared to discuss the world in which we live.  As I wrote to the parents: 


First off, the entire idea of studying art and music history in the 21st century is going to inevitably lead us to discussing some "hot topic" ideas -- not just in defining what is and is not art, but also a number of contemporary issues that the Church and society is wrestling with.  I am not afraid to address this issues -- actually, I look forward to discussing them within the context of a Biblical worldview with my students. From my discussions with nearly all of you, I've learned that you, too, look forward to this next step in the launching/ maturing of your student -- arming them with a Biblical worldview with which these six students can engage our culture for His glory…
So, it is with these thoughts that propose we press on with the debate topic…. [O]ne of the beautiful things about CC is that it strives to educate students to be world-changers -- and confronting the issue of art, culture and music from a Biblical worldview is a first step in for these teens.   Of course, I want you all - as the primary teacher -- to understand where I am coming from…

My students laughed when I reminded them of the Veggie Tales interpretation of Esther – she was made queen of Persia “for such a time as this” we told our little toddlers and preschoolers. I believe with all my heart that God knows exactly what he is doing, and my students/ co-learners (since I’m learning so much with them) are where God wants them to be.  We are in a community where we can support one another and encourage one another (Hebrews verse) as we learn about this world and our part in it (Romans verse). In this safe CC community we can wrestle and debate the ideas of freedom and censorship and personal expression and (with the support of lots of prayer!) discuss God’s “good, perfect and pleasing will” for our lives as Christians in 2014 and beyond.

I am so grateful that God met me – through His word and His people – to know his will for our community for such a time as this.

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